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Ann Bermingham: Art History Spring Lecture

Monday, May 19, 2008 - 4:00pm
Cummings Art Building, Art 2

Free and open to the public

Art, Technology, and Illusion: de Loutherbourg?s Eidophusikon Over one hundred years before Edison and the Lumi?re brothers created modern motion pictures, a novel attraction called the ?Eidophusikon,? opened in Leicester Square. Described in the London press as ?moving pictures, representing, phenomena of nature,? the Eidophusikon thrilled audiences by combining moving images with sound effects and music. Through the combination of technical wizardry and hyper-realistic effects the Eidophusikon blurred the boundaries between art and technology, art and entertainment, and science and spectacle. In doing so it created a new paradigm and public for the visual. Professor Ann Bermingham received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her first book, Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1760-1860 was published by the University of California Press in 1986. As the Clark Professor at UCLA she collaborated with Professor John Brewer on an NEH sponsored workshop in the consumption of culture in the early modern period. The papers from that workshop were published as The Consumption of Culture, 1600-1800: Image, Object, Text (Routledge, 1995). Her most recent book, Learning to Draw: Studies in the History of a Polite and Useful Art (Yale University Press 2000) examines the history of drawing as a social practice in Britain from the Renaissance to the invention of photography. Learning to Draw won the best book award from the Historians of British Art and was named one of the outstanding Academic titles for the year by Choice. Her interests include the history of landscape painting, the gendering of artistic practices, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century aesthetic theory and popular visual spectacles, and the history of emotions. In 2004 and 2007 she co-taught a Mellon Summer Seminar at the Getty Research Institute with Professor Mary Sheriff of UNC Chapel Hill on the cult of sensibility in eighteenth-century England and France. An exhibition on this subject curated by her and entitled "Sensation and Sensibility: Viewing Gainsborough's Cottage Door" opened at the Yale Center for British Art in October 2005 and traveled to the Huntington in February 2006. In conjunction with the exhibition, a collection of essays edited by her was published by Yale University Press. Before coming to UCSB in 1993 Ann Bermingham taught at UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz. Above bio quoted from

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